Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Belgian King Doing His Job
HM King Albert II of the Belgians has been at work, showing how invaluable even a very limited monarchy can be, in the wake of the recent elections which gave the largest number of seats to the openly separatist New Flemish Alliance. Although most Belgians still voted for parties which support national unity it is disturbing that, for the first time, the largest number of seats were won by Flemish nationalists who support the secession of Flanders and thus the destruction of the Kingdom of Belgium. Since then the King has been meeting with political leaders in an effort to quickly form a coalition government before the lack of a government makes the political and particularly the economic situation even worse (Belgium ranks third in terms of overwhelming debt which has been dragging down European countries lately). As it stands now (though not exactly a pleasant prospect in my view either) it seems possible that the winning socialists of Walonia could join with the Flemish socialists to form a national government without the support of the separatists. It is important for monarchists to remember the crucial role played by the King in all of this as the one figure in government who has the prestige and the (even if symbolic) authority to bring the various parties together to work in the national interest. In a way almost unique to Belgium in the degree to which this is true, the King is also virtually the only man in government who can stand above the regional differences of the country. As the saying has long been, everyone else may be Flemish or Waloon but the King is Belgian. Hopefully, for the sake of the country, his efforts will be successful and Belgium will have a government, dedicated to national unity, that can quickly get down to taking care of the business of the country.